I went to a birthday party, not so long ago. It was not the usual birthday party. I needed to go because it was the brother of my childhood friend. He is a person with an intellectual disability, and I have known him for my whole lifetime. Or better to say he has known me all my life as he is much older than me. He turned fifty one that day. So, I brought him stuff you would bring to a man of that age you consider almost your relative. But for him, usually ignored and neglected that day was something to look forward throughout the year. The only day when he is the centre of attention.
There is also this thing about my friend, his sister. Her life didn’t go as planned, and at some point, she decided to be a single mom. Her girl is now fifteen. She made her decision in a small community in the province of a traditional country where every behaviour is okay if it is under the cloak of marriage. She suffered slander, but she laughed it off, carelessly. That is her. Their elder brother also had an unplanned life. He is brilliant and capable, a fighter. He has someone now, and he is happy, but he wanted a family.
There is more, and that is us, imperfect people, insufficient, people with shattered dreams due to harsh circumstances and a decision or two, like one of those decisions to follow your gut or what seems right at a cost.
And then, again there are perfect people. I’ve met them in the province, the petit-bourgeoisie type. Of course, I remember where some of them came from and how they were coming to my doorstep to seek refuge in my stable family life from their shattered existence. That is the truth of some, not all, but you can guess what I am aiming at, these are the people who get to hide their weaknesses or whose weaknesses are proper and socially acceptable in some settings. Those are people who, when they can’t hide their loss, they turn it into battle won and- everything is perfect again. They can’t lose to illness, to poverty, everything happens to someone else.
I met them from that pathetic province where I was born, a small town that could be thriving with a different mindset to gala dinners and receptions in five-star hotels abroad. No matter their level of achievement, they are so remarkably similar. So perfect. They never have anything that is bothering them, let alone a reason to worry.
I’ve been behind the scenery in some cases, as above mentioned but my point is I felt safe with my imperfect friends, cosy, at home, myself. Just as I feel writing this blog. At some point, the person that perfect people call a “retard” the one that had a birthday asked me a question: “Why am I not like other people?” I said I am not like other people as well.
One thing is amazing here, he is more self-aware than perfect people. Very much so. They hate their facade being questioned and defending it is a matter of life and death. They believe the web of lies they present to the world. This was a topic for many artists and people of science. It is real. Just not for perfect people. Remember it just in case someone perfect tries to put you down for being who you are.